Little Letters: April 10, 2017

In my previous blog persona, ‘Love2Bloom’, I was a happy, positive, chipper, maybe and entirely true at the time, “goody-two-shoes”.  I honestly think that my always looking on the brighter side of things annoyed most people, because most I think, thought it fake. Yet, at the time I was writing ‘Love2Bloom’, I was for the most part a truly happy, positive, chipper, goody-two-shoes.

But people change.

Things happen to them that makes them change, whether that be something sad, like failure, loss, hurt, theft, gossip or something very good, like the realization that one’s self-worth is tied, not to the opinion of others, but to being who you truly are meant to be and loved and valued for being:  the “I Am” reflection of the person as they reflect their Lord, warts and all.

For me that meant cursing the way I cursed in private and letting my anger, disappointment, and generally frayed and harried edges show.  Somewhere along the road, I had picked up the idea that letting loose an F-bomb, scowling at others once in a while, crying out in the town square that, ‘The Emperor and Empress are indeed standing on their pedestals, naked’,  and sometimes having a bad mood, a bad day, a bad life and not being ever cheery about every damn day and every damn moment would make me less worthy, less put together, less included, less able in the eyes of others.  Still more important than what others thought of me, was the notion that if I let the surly, cursing, stay at home wife and mother who appeared to have it all, out,  I would be somehow less lovable by Christ and less worthy of redemption.

Yes, I know that Christ loves the sinner and all that, but somewhere along the pit stops of my particular journey which included, but certainly were not limited to: the church pews, the community parish meetings, the PTA meetings, the bake-sales, the carnivals, the fish fry dinners, the bible study groups, 8 am mass, and the stations of the cross, I thought I would be unlovable by Christ if I didn’t act in the same way that all the smiling, ever gracious, ever noble, ever giving Christian women, at church, in the school waiting line, at the market, or at the neighborhood Starbucks and especially on social media, where it seemed to me, so many women were bible journaling their hearts happy , quoting bible verses easily, and decorating their home mantels with perfect family portraits, sculptures of angels, and big block lit up letters that spelled, ‘Peace’ and ‘Joy’,

It wasn’t that my faith in God was false.  I see that now.  God as the center of my life was never the problem. What was false was my way of showing my faith, because it wasn’t faith in God that was on display, it was fear.

Fear of not fitting in.  Fear of not being one worthy of fitting into one of the church groups or being one of the church ladies. Fear of doing something wrong that would irrevocably send me and my soul hurling down to hell, damnation and a fiery, crispy end.

Funny thing was that I never did fit in.  Never was I fully embraced by my local church community,  but they sure did take my hours of service that I offered to them. Took it they did.  Yes, they could see a desperate soul and they were at the ready to take me for all I had. They used me. Let me say that again, they used me.

But, God did not.

I see now that all that nonsense about God, the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, not loving me or finding me not worthy that I felt if I didn’t meet some standard of someone’s made up definition of virtue and piety was false.  Actually, it was a ploy on my part to keep myself diminished, small, scared and in a dark place, that though confining, I found safe.

But spaces, real ones or the ones in our heads, are never sanctuaries.  They may provide us with comfort and safe haven for awhile but they are only temporary because we can not dwell among their four walls forever, shut out, faking our safety and wellness and agency.  Smiling all along, all along, all along.

I must be who I am and if that be a cursing, angry, fist raising individual driving back the ‘Romans’ in my head or on the streets (these days, it’s so hard to make the distinction) who still and above it all believes in the power of love, which it turns out is my higher power – God the Father, then that is who I must be.  And so I wrote,

FullSizeRender

One last thing, this was supposed to be a short post.  Believe it or not. I chose this particular poem thinking that my remembrances back to why I wrote it, would be short and not complex. Then I started writing and well, like all things thought small and innocuous, lies, the unhealed wound and the possibility for a cure.

– Mona

 

Little Letters: Monday, 3/27/17

Good start of the week to all.  Here I am in front of my laptop, writing. Writing a blog post and not the next great novel, but I am writing and I’m taking that as an inch forward.

The poem I selected to look back on for today’s post, was written very early on in my Instagram poem sharing experiment, one or maybe two years ago.

IMG_5260

I wrote this poem at Occidental College sitting behind an iron fence, on a dark green bench, looking out at the school’s track, while waiting for my daughter’s track meet to begin.  I would arrive, purposefully, very early to all her meets. At least 2 hours because I liked the quiet of that campus, the trees, the benches, especially the view of the track, with its burnt rust colored track, large green expanse, hearing the chinkclinkclack of the hurdles being set up, the grass being mowed, the sprinklers.

It took me back in time to when I ran round and round on college tracks. The hard pain of sucking in air through lungs that burned, face solid and expressionless  while one’s legs churned through runner paces of quick, light, powered pushes of speed.  It almost felt, at times, that I would lift off, take off, go up and away. That feeling, alone, is why I ran.

At the track, eighteen year old me was an embarrassment to my close-knit, glamorous, female centered family.  I sweated. I smelled. My hair was in disarray. I breathed heavy. I looked like dust.

They never came to see. Tracks aren’t shopping malls with cute boys, fried fast foods, and plastic containers of sparkly goop and gob. My female cousins.  They ignored my accomplishments.  Treated them and me like they never existed, taking my mother along, sometimes, with their beliefs that I was “odd”, “fast”, “ugly”, a “loser”, a “partier”, “selfish” for going away to college and the list goes on and on and on.

One day she came. She escaped her close-knit and clannish ways. She got in her car and drove down the 405. She showed up. All made up. All fancy in her beautifully matched outfit, coiffed hair, perfumed heavily, and wearing a bright pink lipstick.

In addition to the glitter that was my mother, I remember she stood up the entire time I ran.  I saw her through the corner of my eye, as I turned each corner of the track, as my legs churned through, lungs burning, as I took flight and was out and up and away.

After, I went to her in the stands. Climbed up the stairs. Folks around her were congratulating her. Fawning over her. Saying this and that. More that, than this, to be honest.  I reached her, tapped her on her shoulder, as her back was to me facing her audience and  she hugged and kissed me, squeezing me back down to her atmosphere of make-up, matched outfits, combed through hair and perfumed air. My lungs burned more. My eyes welled up as I watched her eyes darting around to see if anyone was watching her actions. Always playing to the audience. Playing. Pretending. Wishing. Dreaming.

But the burning of lungs, the almost flight was real, ma.  I don’t have to wish for it. I am.I am. I am.

My flume of escape went far beyond the smeared pink lipstick stain left on my cheek that day in the stands at the track.

That’s what I thought about as I wrote and worked on the above poem, waiting for my daughter’s own track meet.  No plastic pink lukewarm smear shows of supposed female solidarity from me to her, for sure.  Just a loud-mouthed cheering fool who remembers. what I remembered.  And so, I wrote.

– Mona

Monday’s Little Letters

Hello. How are you? I hope you are well. Me? I’m doing alright. Neither here not there but still here and that’s good enough.

I usually post my daily poetry ramblings over on my Instagram page, which I will still do because I like that instant share of creative words and exchange with others. Here though on this blog, every Monday, I’m going to post one of my stitched together “Little Letters”, otherwise known as poems that I have written and the ones I re-wrote and re-worked for cadence and message.

In this Monday post, I’ll on occasion explain the process, the why behind my “little letters” because as we all know, nothing is really too small to be insignificant. Everything matters. Every action. Every thought. Every “little letter” thought up and stitched together, matters. If not to the world, then to yourself and that’s good enough.

So here is this week’s “Little Letters” pick:

Little Letters: 3/13/17

This poem started with this pic that I took during a yoga challenge I was participating in on Instagram a few years back as my now defunct Love2Bloom, crochet and craft persona since 2005.

After the pose of the day was struck and the pic snapped and posted onto my feed, I scrolled through the comments on my previous days posts. One caught my eye. It was a comment from a woman in England on a previous days video of me, asking me if I was alright because it looked like I was about to cry? I couldn’t figure out if she was being mean or concerned or funny. It puzzled me. I just didn’t get her. At the time, not getting her was grating. I’ve since figured it out that its not my job to get other people. I’m just here to live and be. But that is now.

And that was then….

The video was of me trying to get into a fold over flamingo pose with a bind. It was a hard pose for me back then and still is.  I made it though but I guess my face showed discomfort or sorrow. I couldn’t help but laugh finally after initial confusion at the comment because, yes, I was not comfortable and that’s what this woman was commenting on but in truth, I felt accomplished getting into that pose and afterwards the twisting that my internal organs received from that particular contortion was a  wonder.

I laughed out loud and snapped the pic. My face in the video was not the serene and yogic meditative portrait of so many other yogi’s on Instagram of ease and beauty.  It was my truth, my face made up of Picasso sharp angles and distortions, a funny face, a disjointed face, a crying face. Discomfort on the outside and shown to the outside as frail, sad, confused but in reality, in truth, a roar, a gurgle of the laughter of self-acceptance that is beyond decency. Pure Joy.

And then I wrote.

And shortly, thereafter, decided to shuttle Love2Bloom for good.

It was freeing and a good choice. I haven’t said that until today, but yes, it was a good choice.

I roared.

-Mona